But he kicked my legs out from under me. "But Jo, we've got to have one more player, or else we won't have enough people and we won't be able to do it." Then he cinched the deal by giving me the big sad puppy-dog eyes. What was I supposed to do?
Option 1) Stick to my guns, harden my heart, stand my ground, and say no and feel like Cruella Deville for the rest of my life.
Option 2) Play the stupid Fantasy Football, and quite possibly look like a fool.
So I did what any good sister would do and joined the league as Team Scrubs. And just as I suspected, I was no good. I just didn't care enough to prowl the free agency waiting for people to drop people I want or pick up guys who maybe might be sort of good next week. Didn't care enough to memorize who's the best on which team and who's got a buy week when and which match-up works well with who and all this other nonsense that I don't care about.
I like football. I do. I know which teams I like and I cheer for them, and I know which teams I don't like and I cheer for whoever they're playing. I know the rules and which positions do what. That's all I know, and that's all I care about. Sorry.
That was last year, and I vowed that I wouldn't do FF again this year. Even when BOTH my brothers hit me hard with the puppy-dog stare, I steadfastly refused. No thank you, I was humiliated last year, and I'm not interested in a repeat performance of THAT.
Then I made a mistake. I embellished on my faults. I said, "Besides, I don't even know who's good and who isn't." And my brother Jim took that and threw it back in my face. "Well, why don't you just pick the guys by how good looking they are?" Dangit. I could, couldn't I? And then I said yes. I am such a sucker.
I've tried to be better this year. Actually, no, that's a lie. I haven't really done anything different this year except for choosing my team based solely on their physical appearance and naming my team The G.I. Jo's. I'm still awful. 0-3 :S. I still don't care enough to try. I want to care. Really, I do. But I don't. So I've made a list to help all of us who are trying to play better Fantasy Football.
Things you have to know and care about to compete in Fantasy Football:
1) You have to know who's injured, how badly, and when they're coming back. And you have to know it the minute they get injured. Like, before they even know themselves.
2) You have to know how many points everybody's made the past few games. Even though that doesn't really help, cause they seem to know when they get put in your starting lineup and then decide they don't really feel like playing good that day. Every time. Seriously.
3) You have to know how good they are compared to the other guys on their team. But really, you should've known that before the draft, and then just gotten those other, better guys instead.
4) You have to know who they're going to play (I guess it's called a match-up?) and if they're good in comparison. Even though so often the underdog wins anyway, so why are we even stressing about this?
5) You have to watch all the freakin games (even games you don't care about in the least) and know which rookies are actually showing promise, for next year. I asked my brother why I couldn't just think about that next year, and he gave me this look that indicated he felt very sad for me, and my poor shriveled brain.
6) You have to trade your players for other players you want, and if someone sends you a trade you don't like, you have to respond with a counter offer or risk looking anti-social. I don't know, but apparently this is a big deal.
7) While in the presence of your fellow FF league members, you have to talk about football, and nothing but football, and stats and players and plays and hopes and fears and football football football. If you don't, you're automatically antisocial and ignorant about stats and we hate you.
8) You can't take football advice from anybody, especially people in your league. The answers they give you will be shrouded in their own hidden agenda to either get your good players for themselves or make your team play poorly. We'll deny it, of course, but it's true.
9) You have to shift people from your starters to your bench and back constantly. You can't just leave all the best guys as your starters. No. That's ridiculous. You must be stupid.
10) You can't pick up the very last, worst guy on the player board thing during the draft, as this is known to cause an uproar with your league members, cause now they know for sure that you aren't taking it seriously, and you'll be the subject of dirty looks and constant hounding about dropping the guy for the rest of your life.
Now, I've made another list for those of you who love Fantasy Football and can't get enough of it. For those of you who live, eat, and breathe football and stats and think that anybody who doesn't must be without ambition in life. Here are some things to keep in mind.
1) If you are at a party, and another person who is in your Fantasy League is also there and you run up to each other while everyone is laughing and talking about things other than football and start babbling about Adrian Peterson's last touchdown and Tom Brady's two interceptions and Denver's match up and the last two seconds of the Pittsburgh game, don't be surprised if somebody throws water or some sort of corrosive liquid in your face.
2) If somebody in your league has a player starting who you don't especially think ought to start, if you hound them day and night and send them emails and try to explain that they are making the biggest mistake of their entire life and try to hack into their fantasy account to change it yourself, you are only going to make that person want to do other things that you hate, just to spite you.
3) If you ask someone in your league what they thought of the Jets game, and they say flippantly that they didn't watch it, it doesn't necessarily mean they had something earth-shattering to do, it just means they didn't watch it. It's okay. Not everybody in the world watches every game religiously. It happens. Breathe.
4) Just because somebody who has a fantasy team doesn't prowl the free agency and stalk other fantasy league members and fall asleep in front of the TV memorizing football stats doesn't mean they automatically fail at life. It might just mean they have a job. That happens too.
5) If someone says they like football, don't assume they know who won the Super Bowl in 1953 or what the score was, or who was playing, or their stats. Don't assume any of that. Just assume they like football, that game where a guy throws a ball and another guy catches it, and the guys wearing different colors try to stop them.
6) Don't try to tie football references into everyday conversation. If somebody says "Mmm, this drink is good." Don't say, "You know what's good? Brandon Lloyd's last catch of the Miami game. THAT was good!" Don't say that. Another corrosive liquid might be coming your way.
7) If somebody in your league picks up the very last, worst player from the draft board and tries to trade him every day for your best players, that person is not stupid or naive or mentally insane. That person just has a sense of humor. :D
Fantasy Football. Some love it, some despise it. Some mock it, some can't get enough of it. Whichever side you're on, be sure to keep everything in perspective. It's a game of a game. Granted, it's a fun game of another fun game, but that's not the point. Point is, you either love it or hate it, so do everything in your power to make life miserable for the other side. That'll be fun.